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Getting Out The Message: Google, Media and Their Influence on This Election

Shortly after this election started, I noticed something interesting with my Google Alerts.  In case you don’t know what that is, you can subscribe to Google for specific topics.  For instance, if I want to read every article on Climate Change, I create a Google Alert and every time something about that subject is published, a message with the headline will be sent to my email.  It eliminates the need to go searching for information on that issue.

I created an Alert for both Tim Hudak and Kathleen Wynne to follow the articles published about both of them throughout this election and something rather disturbing came to light.  The alerts for Wynne, far outnumber the ones for Hudak, which is understandable, since she is the Premier of this province.  (Hopefully, not after the election.)

But what was actually bothersome about the alerts, is that the ones for Wynne were mostly positive, while the ones for Hudak were mostly negative.  And if the article about Wynne was positive, it was republished over….and over…..and over again.  While the ones that were negative about Hudak, were similarly repeated, over and over again with news outlets across Canada picking up the story and running with it.

What is also interesting, according to TVO’s Agenda blog, is that Hudak is the most ‘googled’ name in this election.  If someone does a search on Tim, they will find hundreds of negative articles about him.  This is why it was to the Liberals’ advantage to get as many negative stories about the PC’s out there as they could, by whatever means they could find….blogs, media, union sites, twitter, etc.

I decided to keep track and compile a list.  I must have some sort of OCD when it comes to lists and numbers, because I find I do this with other things as well.

Since May 21, which is when I first started keeping track, I’ve received 914 Google Alerts for Kathleen Wynne.  That’s an average of 42 email alerts each day.   Prominent in headlines were things like:

Wynne Voted Best Choice for Premier” (dozens of alerts repeated that claim)

“Wynne visits (choose one):  diner, dairy farm, pizzeria, college, kindergarten class

“Wynne rejects coalition idea.”

“Wynne’s Liberals leading in the polls”

On the other hand, in the same time period, I received only 482 Google alerts for Tim Hudak.  (21 per day)  While Hudak did get kudos for winning the candidates debate, most of the headlines were extremely negative.  Here is a sampling of the words that dominated the headlines of the articles for him:

bad news,

monster,

dangerous,

racist,

destroy,

threatens economics future,

desperate,

devastating,

negatively impact,

Hudak’s Job Killing Plan,

STOP Hudak,

Stop Hudak, Save Healthcare,

Anyone but Hudak,

Afraid of Tim Hudak

Say NO to Hudak,

Don’t Trust Hudak,

Hudak FIRING 100,000,

Tim Hudak’s Recession

Hudak Poses Threat to Ontario’s Water

Cuts Will Hurt Kids

Poverty Will Grow Under Hudak

While some of those headlines were from union groups and various blogs, the problem is glaring. If Tim Hudak is the most often searched name in this election, chances are the searcher will come across those hundreds of extremely negative headlines.

Is this one of the shortcomings in the PC campaign?  We have all heard about how the Liberal Party has hired hundreds of people to sit all day long, infiltrating comment sections across the web, posting as many inflammatory comments about Hudak as possible.  I first became suspicious, when I started reading the exact same comment over and over again….”I used to vote PC, but Hudak ‘scares’ me, so now I’ve voting for the Liberals.”   That was repeated on so many news outlets comment boards each day, I lost track of the number.

Another oft repeated line is, “Hudak the Tea Partier“.  Whenever I would question the person about what their understanding of the words “Tea Party” were, they could NEVER answer me.  Once or twice, there was a feeble attempt such as “a tea partier is part of the 1%”.  Which of course, is not true.  A Tea Partier is someone who is for less government, less government intrusion in our lives, less government waste which means more money in our pockets.   That’s a good thing, right?   But these paid Liberal lemmings don’t understand that.  They just keep typing from the script in front of them.

Now I’m starting to read people posting this gem, “McGuinty was actually a Conservative.”  WHAT!!  The impetus behind this is blatantly obvious.  Wynne is trying to distance herself from Dalton as much as she can before the election and what better way to do that than to have her paid trolls start spreading that new ‘fact’.

So what’s the message?  I guess it’s that if you can manipulate the media, and the web and get published as many negative things about your opponent as possible, you don’t really have to run an attack campaign yourself.  You just sit back and let Google do it for you.

DQ

 

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2 Comments on “Getting Out The Message: Google, Media and Their Influence on This Election”

  1. snowball June 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    I have had a google alert about health issues and turbines for some time. I used to get a lot of diverse articles (both sides) from many publications on the health topic. Several weeks ago I started getting a bunch of years old health articles saying there are no problems, and research show no issues etc etc. Some of the top current stories didn’t come through. It is clearly being manipulated. Google is a very big proponent of wind energy.
    The other probolem is urban MSM. For instance Bellmedia will not allow their outlets to talk negatively about wind tubine issues. I have heard some reporters/talk hosts go to say wind energy and they stumble and say energy. Bellmedia owns CTV. They used to be fair, they no longer are. nor are CBC or metroland media outlets. Sun is about the only ones with full blown exposure.
    No one is getting the truth. People should be made aware of the suppression.

    • Donna Quixote June 12, 2014 at 7:07 am #

      It’s true what you’re saying about the health and turbine alerts. I’ve been wondering the same thing. Why are these old articles suddenly re-appearing?

      Remember when we were growing up and there was such controversy about how Russia controlled the media and their people were never allowed to hear the news, except how it was manipulated by the government?

      We were so proud to think we didn’t have that problem over here.

      Yeah, well, that was then. This is now.

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